Physical medicine, or physiatry, is a medical specialty that focuses on whole body function and its restoration, resulting from surgery, injury, or acute or chronic illness. Non-surgical in nature, physical medicine incorporates treatment for neurological and/or musculoskeletal deficits.
Let’s talk about the medical conditions physical medicine can treat and where you can go for high-quality physical medicine care in Watertown, NY.
What Physical Medicine Entails
Treatment by a physical medicine doctor, or physiatrist, concentrates on helping people live well with the effects of a debilitating injury or health condition. Care plans focus on the wellness of the entire person–not just on one system or body part. As such, physical medicine is holistic in approach.
A physical medicine physician combines many treatment modalities in a comprehensive care plan. The doctor will modify the care plan as treatment proceeds, and therapeutic outcomes are met or changed. Input from the patient and other care partners, such as the primary care physician, physical therapist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, orthopedic specialist, and more, helps the physiatrist move the patient toward maximum function and quality of life.
Physical Medicine Tools and Therapies
Physiatry involves a wide range of therapies, medications, and more. These may include:
- Oral medications, injection therapy, and other methods of pain relief, such as massage, ultrasound therapy, targeted active and passive exercises and stretching
- Alternate ways to accomplish activities of daily living (ADLs), such as dressing and eating
- Modified functional ADLs for household and occupational tasks
- Use of durable medical equipment, such as braces, crutches, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and more
- Counseling for nutrition, weight loss, family dynamics, and other psycho-social needs
- Physical therapy for specific joints, muscles, bones, and nerves
Rehabilitation strategies may happen in the hospital, skilled nursing facility, orthopedic or physical therapy office, or even at home or school. Participation of family members, friends, and significant others is key to the success of any physical medicine plan of care.
What Physical Medicine Helps Treat
Physical medicine physicians possess a wide range of skills that are applicable to many medical conditions or injuries, including:
- Arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussion
- Sports- and work-related injuries
- Crush injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Chronic musculoskeletal conditions, such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis
- Genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome
- Sensory issues, such as autism spectrum disorders
- Speech problems
- Balance and coordination issues
- Bladder dysfunction
- Pain related to cancer and other serious health conditions and their treatments
- Neck and lower back pain
- Limb deformities
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Fracture, sprain, and strain care
- Scoliosis, kyphosis, and other spinal curvatures
- Joint instability
- Sports injuries
Exceptional Physical Medicine Care
If you need physical medicine care, look no further than North Country Orthopaedics. We are the premier physical medicine facility in the Watertown, NY, area. Our board-certified physiatrist, Dr. Howard Huang, formulates care plans focused on your therapeutic needs and long-term life goals, not simply on the physical problem.